The Full Works, Seattle
Luggage and bags:
Seattle can be hilly in spots if you're walking, so bring a small pack and leave the rest of your stuff somewhere else.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: July through October are generally drought months, so there's not too much rain. Everyone will be wearing summer clothes, so you should too! The rest of the year, it rarely gets cold enough for big time cold gear, so just bring layers and a rain/wind shell and pants that don't feel wet even if they get a bit wet. The rain tends to come at you sideways, so your pants will get it. Don't bother with an umbrella unless it is really pouring, since half the time, the wind will just flip your umbrella inside out. Anyway, that's why you're bringing a rain shell (with hood!) The other thing is shoes... don't wear athletic shoes with mesh on the top, especially if they flip water up on the mesh when you walk. Wet feet all day feel gross.
Luggage and bags:
A comfortable day pack for just walking around the city, comfortable shoes for the same reason.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Pack clothes that you can layer, the weather changes all the time. Don't worry too much about an umbrella unless you are here in October. If you are going hiking, make sure to have waterproof shoes and some kind of water proof coat.
Photo Equipment: Bring a camera, it's beautiful here.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: If you're going camping, take a little portable espresso pot!
Miscellaneous: If you forget anything, of course, there is always shopping at REI or someplace more reasonably priced.
The malls are nothing special in Seattle. Downtown and neighboring Belltown shopping is better. Southcenter Mall, now called Westfield Shoppingtown Southcenter, is near the airport. No, you are not in Australia despite seeing the Westfield name! (The Lowy family owns the many Westfield Shoppingtowns all over Australia). Bellevue Mall in Bellevue (across Lake Washington) and Northgate (in North Seattle next to the I-5 highway) are the other major shopping malls.
Miscellaneous: Lake City is a pleasant neighborhood in northeast Seattle. If you have a car and want to escape the traffic and congestion, this is a suggestion. On Lake City Way near N.E. 130th St. is the Fred Meyer store. It’s similar to the French style hypermarche where one can buy food, supplies like film or toiletries, and simple clothes.
Luggage and bags:
Water proof always works in Seattle
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: There is no guarantee in Seattle for the weather. It is usually raining, misting, and grey. About the only month it might not rain is August (even then).
Always come prepared. Fall, Winter, and Spring - it is bone cold weather due to rain and moisture in the air. It is not a dry cold. Waterproof gear with hoods work well or hats. Umbrellas do not do well - when the wind blows that umbrella will go backwards. Most Seattlelites do not do umbrellas.
Overall - good to layer - so you can peel off and add on - if need be. We can get snow - every other year please so check on it.
Shoes - look for water protection. And do not wear what natives do - they are used to it. Due to the hills in the city - ladies - be careful with high heels and I recommend that you wear shoes that have skid protection on the soles. Boots are good Seattle shoe.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: For special medication - come prepared or carry prescription. American pharmacies are more fussy than others. Nothing here is given without Doctor okay.
We do not have social medical sytem - healthcare is expensive in the US and emergency rooms have long waits.
Most simple flu, cold, cought and other ailment drugs you can buy off the counter - but still less choices than Europe, Asia & S. America. There is usually a pharmacist on duty 7am - 9pm - who can help you.
Toiletries - many 24 hr stores. You will not suffer in most parts of Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, and Bellevue.
Photo Equipment: You can shop for anything you want - everything is available.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Camping in Seattle and surrounding areas is absolutely wonderful - check the park systems for bookings. And if you choose to do - please keep in mind weather and time of year. Winter camping is not recommended - but spring, summer and fall is good.
You must load up on gear depending on how serious you are and how rugged.
Our State websites have loads of help for you there.
Miscellaneous: Be prepared for wild animals and learn how to protect yourself and or what you might do. And also be aware of who is close to you...Americans can carry weapons and you must be prepared for that and if it bothers you - think about it.
Make sure to inform someone where you are.
Have a cell phone for emergencies.
Have the right gear - clothes, shoes, cooking equipment, tents, and vehicle.
Luggage and bags:
Obviously- the 2 carry-on minimum if traveling by air. Otherwise, feel free to pack yourselves silly. You may look like a Grand Canyon donkey, but you are the one that gets to carry it all, lucky you!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Layers, layers, layers!
WINTER- definitely scarf/hat and mittens/gloves with thick parka/overcoat. Its downright cold! Always helps to have hot, steamy beverage in hand. (Hence, a Starbucks on every corner)
SPRING- light jacket should be fine; usually long pants still (not quite shorts weather- people will KNOW you're not from here)
SUMMER- bring on the summer gear! Even summer months (July, August- occasionally June/September) can still have a chill in the evening air. And since there are TONS of outdoor activities, especially in summertime, it might be wise to have a jacket/sweatshirt/sweater/long sleeves, just in case. (So mom was right after all!)
FALL- see WINTER. Its brisk, baby! but beautiful!!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: FIRST AID- always have one on hand if you're camping.
TOILETRIES- ok, if you need help with this one...we just won't go there.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Camping ROCKS in Washington- sooooo many great places!! First aid kit, of course. Tarp or weather-resistant tent might be necessary ESPECIALLY if you're camping on the coast- you never know in this state. If you're east of the Cascade Mountains, it's usually pretty hot and dry in the summer, cold and snowy in winter.
For summer, sunscreen is good, even when it appears cloudy or overcast-- there's still a risk.
**Especially needed if you plan on hiking/snowboarding/skiing,etc...the snow glare can be brutal. I've been a victim of the 'Goggle Tan' a time or two in my life!**
Miscellaneous: There's a reason why we're the Evergreen State- you can't have a beautiful state like Washington and still expect to have weather like California! I honestly don't think it rains as much as people like to think, but it is overcast alot of days out of the year, which may seem gloomy to some. I happen to like the rain!. Umbrellas are considered an 'accessory' here. The reason we Seattlelites don't carry umbrellas is that the weather changes every 5 minutes.
Luggage and bags:
Bring a camera, an umbrella (it doesn't rain as much as you think, but it can be unexpected.) Bring a camera, And plenty of film.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Bring umbrella (it doesn't rain as much as you think, but it can be unexpected.) And warm and cool cloths, jacket.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Water resistant tent with plastic tarp for under the tent. Garbage bags. Fishing pole, and tackle. Great rainbows, brook trout, german browns, cocane, salmon, steelhead, etc...
Luggage and bags:
I would recommend at least a daypack for your walking around and exploring Seattle.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Walking shoes are a must. We have lots of hills in Seattle especially downtown (city center). So, if wearing heels or uncomfortable shoes, make sure it's around short distances, and fairly flat areas. If you end up having a 'shoe emergency' (i.e., shoes are KILLING you!), Try M.J. Feet, 1514 Pike Place, 206-624-2929. You will find the most comfortable shoe or sandal available - Birkenstocks. Or, a good insert to place in your favorite shoes might also be a lifesaver!
There a reason for all these green trees...RAIN! Add a rainproof and/or hooded jacket to your bag, umbrella or hat. Seattle is fairly casual. You can get by with a skirt or slacks in a more upscale restaurant and jeans or whatever goes in all others.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Have a lightweight tarp available to you if camping. Sleeping bags rated at 25 degrees for March-early May camping and late September-October camping. End of may to mid-September, a bag rated 35 to 45 degrees should be fine. There are GREAT outdoor stores in Seattle. You'll find everything you could possibly need at REI and you'll enjoy the visit as they have waterfalls, walk paths and a climbing wall!